The very title of this section might evoke a big emotion or reaction in you, be it excitement, panic, agitation, relief, or curiosity. This topic reaches into the most vulnerable places for us emotionally, mentally, physically and relationally; so, yes, it will stir up some strong emotions. Maybe your fingers might already be turning the page, but please stay with me.
This section is for all of us! Single, dating, engaged, and yes, you married ladies, too. Let’s be real, we all think about sex. God created us as sexual beings; He created our sexual desire, sex drive, attraction, imagination, and sexual organs. Therefore, it makes sense for us to bring God INTO this conversation. No one understands these things better than the Creator Himself. He placed in all of us a longing for intimacy and connection. When we bring sex back to God’s design and purpose, we can understand why the enemy would target the deepest form of intimacy that exists on this side of eternity. It is time for us to normalize talking about sex and our struggles with sexuality. We need to bring these conversations inside the church, rather than banishing them to the shadows and backrooms of our lives. This is not a topic that we should be ashamed of, shy away from, or be embarrassed to talk about. In fact, it actually is a subject that God has a lot of opinions about! The Word of God is filled with wisdom, insight, and truth about sex, that will lead us to have a healthy perspective and relationship with sex and intimacy in every season.
To be honest, when I was a young woman, I didn’t know that it was okay to openly talk about this subject. It felt like an embarrassing topic that everyone seemed to avoid. I have been a church girl from birth, and proud of it. I also had a close relationship with my parents. I was taught that sex before marriage was wrong and that fooling around with boys was wrong. I remember messages from youth group where I learned words in the Bible like “lust” and “defrauding.” I also remember trying to figure out what these new sensations and feelings in my body were all about, but I was too ashamed to ask.
I will never forget the moment at an altar call, as clear as day, when I knew that God wanted into this very personal area of my life. I literally heard the Holy Spirit tell me, “It’s time to stop. It’s time to surrender this area to me.” Masturbation was never discussed, and honestly I was so young, I had never even heard of the word. But the Holy Spirit inside of me was guiding me, and because of this close relationship I had with Jesus, I leaned in to listen and respond to that voice.
As a pastor of 26 years now, I have realized that this subject has led people to struggle with their faith, peace, joy, intimacy, as well as their relationship with Jesus and others, more than almost anything else. Many women are only just beginning to feel brave enough to talk about sexual abuse and other hideous travesties. The enemy has tricked women by convincing them that their personal struggles with sexuality, sex drive, and sexual encounters should stay hidden. It should be no surprise then, that shame, confusion, and condemnation have trapped so many, keeping them from being free! No longer is this to be treated as if it’s a dirty subject. Instead, let’s talk about our struggles, personal convictions, and what we are experiencing. Let’s go there.
God didn’t accidently give us a pleasure button; He designed every part of us with great intention. He put as much care into the nerves and areas of our body designed to feel pleasure as He did the liver, thyroid, and kidney. He gave us these bodily sensations for no other reason than to enjoy sexual interaction. Did you catch that? He wants us to enjoy sexual experiences. He didn’t design sex to be purely instinctual and necessary for procreation. He created sex to be PLEASURABLE for us as human beings, unlike other instinctual responses, like scratching an itch, which, is what animals do in mating (not meaning to be crass).
“God created our sexual desire, sex drive, attraction, imagination, and sexual organs; therefore, it makes sense for us to bring God INTO this conversation.”
I also want to say this. I recognize that sadly in the church, there have been times when legalism became intertwined with truth. Many have been hurt deeply by church cultures that held purity up as if it was a trophy that you earned by following a certain set of rules. What began as healthy accountability led to a level of control and pressure that left women defeated and confused. I get it. I’ll be honest, I even leaned that way for a season. In some ways, rules are cleaner and easier because you don’t have to wrestle with some of the grey areas that surround our sexuality. But the fruit of purity being driven by rules rather than relationship is bondage, control, and pride.
In contrast, when purity is driven by God – who loves us, wants relationship with us, and the best for us – we will experience security, peace, and joy. It’s like breathing the fresh air of freedom. Freedom to live for God! The Holy Spirit wants to lead you in every area of your life, including your sexuality. So let’s be super clear, this section is not a rule book, nor a list of do’s and don’ts. That never has good fruit. Our desire is to lead you to Jesus and for His voice be above all others.
In an overlysexualized world, it’s no wonder that many women feel barriers to intimacy. I have sat across from married women who have struggled to orgasm. I have talked with newly married women who are frustrated or disappointed that things are taking time to figure out in the bedroom. I am so glad they had the courage to say something and get help. And I have also talked with many single women who are frustrated, surrounded by sexual images, media, struggling to find fulfillment within the context of life that they are in. Paul gives us such hope if we are in a season of singleness. He found a way of using it to bring life to some other passions, Like spreading the Gospel across three continents. (Tasha and Bre dive into this more in “Sex & the Single Life”.)
The truth is, what we are really after is intimacy. And I promise you, that no matter what season you are in, God has given us incredible ways to find healthy connection with others, and fill our lives with meaning and purpose. God has so much to bring into our lives that can help to fill that void.
These articles and conversations are not crass, inappropriate, or frivolous. That’s what the enemy has done to sex. He has done anything and everything to take what was meant to be so special to cheapen, pervert, and distort it.
We have a message for you today. God wants to restore this area of your life, so that you have a healthy relationship with your sexuality.
As you dive into these topics and articles, here is the framework to read from:
1. We don’t claim to know everything. Remember, we are ALL on this journey. But we are making a choice to dive into these areas that need to be talked about in a Christian forum and from a Christian perspective. Some of us are still wrestling through some of this, but we pray that what we have learned, and are still learning, will help you in your journey. Be gracious with us. We are not experts, and we do not want to come across as having all the answers. As we normalize this conversation, it is our heart that we also normalize bringing God INTO it. God is asking us to open up this conversation so that He can be part of it, and we want to be obedient to that.
2. We are not here to shame you or make you feel condemned. If you have struggled in this area or have made some big ol’ mistakes – you are in great company. We are definitely not here to throw stones, but rather hoping to lead you to Jesus. In John 8:7 (NIV), there was a woman who had been caught in adultery, who was surrounded by people who were going to stone her. Jesus stepped in to rescue her by saying this incredible statement to the crowd: “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” As they dropped their stones and left, Jesus said, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” The enemy wants to shame and condemn you, not Jesus. I love how this little story ends. Jesus is so relaxed sitting with this woman. He protected her from being condemned, and yet, His last words to her show us that He doesn’t want us to stay trapped in our sin either.
3. We recognize that there are grey areas. There are some things that we can’t point to a verse and say, “See? There it is clearly!” When you look at the entirety of Scripture, those grey areas do become less and less, but they are still there. It comes down to your willingness and obedience to listen to the Holy Spirit inside of you. In fact, the closer we walk with the Spirit, the less we have to think about what is technically right and wrong, black and white, sin and not sin. We don’t find ourselves trying to prove that we aren’t sinning when we are living a life of obedience to the Holy Spirit. He is the very best guide to our lives. Grey areas lead us to lean in to what God wants for our lives, and give us an opportunity to walk in the Spirit rather than the law. The law kills, but the Spirit brings life. Let Him guide you!
4. We do believe in absolute truth. In a culture where absolute truth is almost a cuss word, we must go back to the Word of God. God does give us some specific instructions about sex. In I Corinthians 6, Paul reminds us that “sex is more than skin on skin.” He tells us that in sex, “the two become one.” He writes that there is a kind of sex that avoids commitment and leaves us more lonely than ever. Sound familiar? God’s word gives us guidelines not to keep us from fun, but to protect our spirits from entering a sexual act that will leave us empty, violating our very spirit. Paul also writes that, “in sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies” and reminds us that our body is a sacred place; the place of the Holy Spirit. This leads me to conclude that there is such a thing as sexual sin. Sex just to have sex isn’t how God intended us to live. God wants to save you for something beautiful.
Here is the cool part. I truly believe we don’t need to write a list of rules to be a godly woman in this area. We are not here to become your policeman. I have tried that in the past, and it doesn’t work very well. It leads to legalism, which brings death. No thank you!
What I can do is ask YOU to dive into the Word of God for yourself. Ask God to come into this area of your life like never before. Ask Him what He wants for you and your current season. We are not here to rush you, condemn you, or throw stones, but to help you know that God wants to be a part of this area of your life.
God wants in. To ALL the places in us. Including this very private area of SEX. We don’t have to be embarrassed or ashamed of asking some questions, making some mistakes or struggling in any of these areas.
Are you ready? Let’s dive in!